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Blown Head Gasket?


Rangi246

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So to add to the OD woes I am currently having, I suspect the car (1600 Vitesse) has now blown a head gasket.

I check the engine oil regularly and did so last night only to find the level was all of a sudden very high. I took the car for a quick trip around the block and after checking the oil again, found it had returned to its normal level but had also changed to a rather thin greenish colour, not like oil at all. I checked the water level and had to top it up a bit too. I checked the oil level again this morning to find it had gone very high again. Am I correct in guessing that the head gasket has blown and there is water leaking into the sump?

Also, the car had a new head gasket only 5000 miles ago. Is it normal for them to blow so regularly?

And finally, where can I get a good quality head gasket set from for a 1600? The last one I got was from Rimmerbros but if there is a better one around, a push in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Cheers
Mark

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Lots of water in the oil (enough to cause noticeable level change) normally turns it a dirty creamy (or chocolate milkshake) colour.  Less water just leads to "mayonaisse" on the filler cap, which can also be caused by short runs in cool weather.

Possible oil is just a bit overfilled so the filter draining down overnight is enough to put it over the mark and returns to "normal" when the filter is full again.  Also give the oil a sniff in case petrol is getting in through a split fuel pump diaphragm.

Nick

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Hi Nick

Yes, i'd say the oil on the dipstick (the whole dipstick) is more like a frothy greeney browny colour. The dipstick has always had nothing but oil on it and has always been constantly at the full level. It now looks like its extremely over-full, well past the mark by at least 10mm. I've never seen this muck before and it doesn't smell like petrol......

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many of our cars suffer from brinelling of the head stud washers, and poor quality nuts as the torque is 50%  higher than that of the std  nuts  thats for the small 3/8"unf and 7/16" unf.
the continual panting of the head deforms the washer face and you loose torue and clamping effort on the gasket
the 1600 is different as it has a steel shim type gasket, not a composite , the manual for 1600 says liberally coat with sealer...but good old triumph dont specify what,
in the day stuff like WellSeal would ave been the product likely to be used on production,  its still available.
dont use any silicon based stuff far to slipery, &  wont grip the gasket
q
if the studs have been used more than twice  maybe consider new ones,
remove and clean the threads with a die nut , and use some  oiled wet dry to clean the block and head faces of any residue

canley sell nuts as 110748HD  which are more suited ,  and an idea to use wheel nuts which give a better spread could be a consideration   ,  but soft washers are a problem across the range

Pete

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I used Wellseal last year and it never worked....I put the head back on dry and it's been good as gold ever since. Took me 3 attempts though. Twice with Wellseal, final and last time without. Not sure for a composite but definitely dry for the steel shim, nice man at Canleys (Dave) said "DO NOT USE ANY GASKET SEALER...KEEP 100% DRY"

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I was always brought up to use dry clean  HG and its faces ,  its only in the WSM its says ' cover with sealer '  but no clues as to with what.
    so it might be best to ignore the manual and stay dry   it suits my old school

           Pete


          

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The gasket that I have for my Spit engine has a fibre surface one side and an aluminium-ish finish on the other, which side is top?  On the old Payan gaskets I seem to remember one side was marked TOP.  This one isn't.  I remember the material was copper too....

Mark

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without looking for an accurate answer , i would put the metal finish against the head as its the heads that pant/shuffle around and would allow some shift without wrecking the gasket    same reason as the copper ones with crimped fire rings has the smooth face upwards    but sure there are some gasket guru's  somewhere here

composites  (black) are made to grip the faces and resist/contain the panting and have seperate fire rings so dosnt have a way up

Pete

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